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Sleeping with a fan on at night is actually really bad for you

Sorry to break it to you


It’s official, the UK summer has began but unfortunately most of our homes aren’t built for the hot weather so trying to sleep at night is hell.

“But I can just sleep with my fan on?” I hear you say. Well sorry to break it to you, but it turns out that leaving your fan on all night is actually really bad for you.

Sleep expert Mark Reddick advises against sleeping with a fan on. He explains that fans produce dry air, which can cause your skin and throat to dry out, and irritate your eyes. Aside from just being unpleasant, it can cause serious discomfort if you wear contact lenses.

The constant stream of dry air can also dry out your nasal passages, affecting your sinuses. Your body might even produce extra mucus to compensate for the dryness, making you more susceptible to blockage, stuffiness and headaches.

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Getting a cold from your fan is not a vibe

But the dry air isn’t the only problem. We don’t get heatwaves very often in the UK, so your fan has probably been sitting around gathering dust for months. The moment you turn it on, those particles of dust will be flying around your room and into your airways.

This is especially dangerous if you suffer from allergies. The dust and pollen is more likely to get into your sinuses and provoke an allergic reaction. So if you suffer from asthma or hay fever, it’s probably advisable to pack the fan away.

The problems don’t just stop there. You might also have noticed that you wake up aching after leaving your fan on during the night. This is because the concentrated cool air can cause your muscles to tense up and cramp.

There is some good news though – there are ways to beat the heat without the assistance of a fan.

These include: Wearing loose clothing at night, taking a cool shower before bed, keeping your bedroom shaded during the day, sleeping with a window open, drinking cold water and avoiding alcohol/caffeine, and sleeping with cotton bedsheets.

But if all else fails, there are options to make your fan less detrimental to your health. It sounds simple but investing in a rotating fan, or one with a timer can make a big difference.

Or if you’re feeling particularly creative, you can turn your fan into a makeshift air-conditioning unit. Freeze between four and six bottles of salt-water during the day, then place these in front of the fan on a tray before you go to bed, and turn your fan on. Voila! A cool moist breeze will blow over you.

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